I feel rather weak and ashamed to admit to this amongst such a potentially broad audience but I’m typically not a very patient person with people who interrupt me in my flow of thought.
As a borderline introvert/extrovert I, unfortunately, have the worst traits of each regarding interruptions. Whilst I tend to seek withdrawal to renew energies, study and reflect, and because I’m spent easily, I’ve been known to be quite abrupt—often necessitating later apologies—when people aren’t sensitive to this. Yes, of course, this might mean I’m a little ‘precious.’
Turning this Thing on its Head
You might relate—and this that follows from J. Oswald Sanders might just be the thing to discuss as a potential solution.
He encountered a busy man who had had the same problem. His solution was simple. The interruptions were turned from annoyances into divine appointments that this man saw as predestined by God.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Italics added.)
Imagine thinking as someone approaches us—previously thought to be stealing some of our precious time—that instead they’re on an errand from God himself, for us to help them.
The Purpose of our Lives – Transformation!
This schema is transforming our thought on a common inconvenience, even now.
Stripped of the ‘need’ to do those things of ‘importance’ we feel ordinarily quite driven to do we’re suddenly free to settle and relax and engage with a world all too alluring from the godly perspective—everything is suddenly and endemically ours!
Interruptions are always blessings in disguise, for God is using them to present to us a whole world of ideas and concepts that will forever remain foreign to us in our rejection of them.
Even the interruptions that are teasingly painful have a godly purpose.
God is revealing these to us in our very response. If we’re pained in the interruption, he implores us to reflect. It’s not love to treat people hurriedly. God has brought me around this mulberry bush so many times.
Don’t we find it fascinating (or annoying) the amount of times God’s telling us—via our circumstances and responses—“Slow down a bit; relax; enjoy this person in your midst.”
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Reference: J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership – Principles of Excellence for Every Believer (Chicago, Illinois: The Moody Bible Institute, 1967, 1980, 1994), p. 97.